Plot is underdeveloped, but messages, good characters, and a wonderful dance sequence save
I know this movie is getting lots of bad reviews, and in fairness, I can see the issues. It feels rushed, the "Realms" are not given enough backstory, and the story is not fleshed out enough. However, I loved this movie because of the messages and characters. Mackenzie Foy as Clara truly is the light of this movie. She is strong, brave, and highly intelligent (she loves to invent like her late mother). But, she is also mourning her mother which leads her sometimes to lash out at others from her sadness, particularly her father. She learns lessons about herself and lessons about the value of love and family. Clara is a wonderful role model for little girls because she is strong but still flawed, she feels like a real girl who people can relate too. I also love Jayden Fowara-Knight as the Nutcracker! He was loyal, brave, and kind to Clara even when she sometimes took her anger out on him in tense situations. The story of this film is very different from the original Nutcracker story of the ballet, but I think fans of the ballet will appreciate it! One of the best parts of the film is the sequence featuring Misty Copeland, the renowned ballet dancer. This movie also features an incredibly diverse cast which I think is another one of its strong suits. This is not the best movie I have ever seen by any means, but I think it is one worth seeing, especially for families with young girls and fans of the ballet!